Monday, November 24, 2008

Home phones and cell phones

Yet another underground wire failure on the phone line to the barn
made me look into a better solution for a phone line out there. My
barn is 600+ feet away from the house and there are lots of walls in
between. When we moved in there was a phone line buried going to the
barn which worked for a while. After a few years it shorted out. They
used basic inside phone cord to run it through some pipes in the
ground. When we split the electric service I had some real phone line
buried and that worked for 5 years but now its shorting out again. I
can go try to chase it down but its buried and i'm not digging up my
property again.

I researched the latest DECT 6.0 cordless phones but they still dont
have super range of the nature i'm looking for. Ultimately I decided
to add another cell phone to my wife's cell plan. I got a contractor
type phone (water/weather proof) for free and increased the bill by
$10/month and now we have a barn phone that works everywhere we could
need it and no range issues.

So now that I have 3 cell phones (myself, wife and barn) and a kid
soon to have her own, what am I paying $45/month for a home phone for?
I looked into that, and here are a few reasons:

1) 911 service - cell phone 911 calls don't pinpoint you or get quite
the same response time that home phones do.
2) Everyone knows our home number which is also considered our
business phone number. Its also easy to remember (yes we could port it
somewhere else)
3) If we take our cells away from the house and something happens are
we going to trust that the people left have a cell phone? There's now
one in the barn but perhaps not the house
4) Who knows how much that kid will talk on the phone once she
discovers it?

For now i'm keeping it although it seems kind of silly.